Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How do you read?

I love books. Books, books, books. The more the merrier! I recently discovered the wonders of the online hold at my local library, and the ability to request transfers from lots of other libraries in north Georgia. Now my insatiable desire without monetary backing is being fulfilled. I do try and limit myself somewhat, because who can read 100 books in 2 weeks? I don't want to be selfish. I do however get several on a subject to see which I like best.

There is a regular routine for me when perusing a new book. I first take note of the title and author, and also what year it was written or updated. (This often will be my deciding factor to even check it out or not. Because, let's face it, a book about great websites to visit that is 10 years old is, well, rather antiquated.) Then, I survey the chapter titles and subtitles and skim through the book, looking at pictures (or the lack there of) just so I know the lay of the land. Now, my flaw to my online-hold system is that I will occasionally end up with books I never would have checked out had I seen them in person before. I try to survey my books as soon as I get them, because I don't want to keep others from reading books I have no intention of ever reading. I love recipes but really prefer lots and lots of pictures. I recently requested a book simply because someone said it was a great cookbook only to discover it had no pictures and few recipes. It was more a cooking journal. Although perhaps interesting, it wasn't what I really had in mind...

I like a wide variety in my selections and will often get things just out of curiosity. I may only peruse at surface level, or I may read 3 books cover-to-cover. It just depends on how interested I find myself. I know there are many things I can read about online, and I do, but sometimes books are easier. Here are my current 'active titles' as I like to think of them. These are personals and library books I am currently reading.

Mark of the Lion Trilogy - Francine Rivers (4th time reading through this, I'm on the last one.)
The color encyclopedia of hostas - Grenfell, Diana
A Greener Christmas - Goldsmith, Sheherazade. (This one is sooo good, going on my amazon wish list.)
The backyard homestead - Madigan, Carleen.
VeggieTales Holiday pack - Big Idea Productions
The complete illustrated book of herbs - Reader's Digest Association (Also great)
The tale of three trees : a traditional folktale - Hunt, Angela Elwell
The birth order book : why you are the way you are - Leman, Kevin.
Grace-based parenting - Kimmel, Tim.
Elmo's world Opposites - Clash, Kevin. (Had no idea they would love this so much.)
Don't make me count to three! a Mom's look at heart-oriented discipline - Plowman, Ginger. (AWESOME)
Photoshop CS3 for dummies - Bauer, Peter J.
Boys should be boys : 7 secrets to raising healthy sons - Meeker, Margaret J.
Green design : a healthy home handbook - Berman, Alan (Alan J.)
Walking with God : talk to him, hear from him, really - Eldredge, John
Home made, best made : hundreds of ways to make all kinds of useful things - Reader's Digest Association
The Georgia fruit and vegetable book - Reeves, Walter.
Trade secrets from Use What You Have decorating - Ward, Lauri.
The everything canning & preserving book - Telesco, Patricia
New herb bible growing and knowing your herbs - Foley, Caroline.
Birth order blues : how parents can help their children meet the challenges of their birth order - Wallace, Meri. (Very interesting - had no idea twins develop an older/younger status usually.)
The complete idiot's guide to preserving food - Brees, Karen K. (great, simple)

(I'm not bothering with my 'on hold' list. It's even longer and constantly changing. When books come from other libraries, it can take days, weeks, or even months if there's a waiting list.)

I am a huge fan of the 'for dummies' series. I've discovered I like it better than 'idiot's guide' and 'everything' series. They just aren't quite as cleanly organized.

To keep up with my selections for future reference, and perhaps, my own personal amusement, I keep a book journal. I created an excel spreadsheet including vital information, how I read the book (all, in parts, skim) and my notes about it. It's not as beautiful as say, a handwritten journal, but the sheer multitude would make that impractical. I want to be able to easily reference this so it serves its purpose for me. Perhaps one day I could fancy it up and print it for a notebook.

So my question is, how do you read? Are you like me with a multitude that you select from reflecting your current mood? Or do you prefer to finish one at a time? I used to do that, no compromise. One day I may wander back to that philosophy. For this season of my life, the book buffet is working quite nicely.


Lauren said...

You are such an organized reader. Sadly, the majority of my fiction reading is done in a cycle. But I get my non-fiction books based on recommendations from friends who I know have the same framework that we do. ;) Or, if I'm looking for some helpful resources on gardening, I'll ask someone I know who gardens successfully.

Right now, I'm reading "A Mother's Heart" by Jean Fleming, and "Gone With the Wind."

Iva said...

oh wow!such organized reading! I generally just pick up everything and anything, I have a major obsession with books ;)